Good day team and welcome to the "NAMEN on the Move" kick off of "Coach’s Corner", highlighting best practices, strategies and techniques in “Responsible Fatherhood” led by NAMEN’s own Coach Lynn a 30-year veteran in the responsible fatherhood movement worldwide.
Today’s session goes straight to the heart of the responsible fatherhood campaign, addressing the misconceived notion that care-giving from a man’s point of view, solely means providing financially with little to no effort displayed in maintaining the home and or taking on the duties of caregiver particularly in raising newborns to 3 years of age. This archaic notion is without merit and or substance, as it is clear when a father takes pride in maintaining his home or “Castle” (as we like to call it) while joyfully supporting the mother in physically caring for the children’s needs, his acceptance of this role shows strength, sacrifice commitment and love for his family, which as time goes by is emulated, particularly from his sons eagerly seeking to follow in their father's footsteps.
Long gone are the days when the household chores and raising of the children were heaped on the woman, leaving behind the notion this work was secondary and non-consequential, for as those who have excitedly taken on this responsibility can attest, caring for the family is a full-time job, paying very little if anything and requiring a management skill unmatched in the traditional work arena. This phenomenon was studied in-depth by the International Fatherhood Engagement Organization Men Care, with the findings provided in its recent State of the Worlds Fathers report issued in 2021. As stated in the report under the title “Thinking Structurally: Seven Actions Toward A More Caring World” (pg.7) “Men’s full participation in care work is part of a necessary and urgent revolution to center care in economies, societies and lives.” (www.Men-Care.org) The report goes on to recommend seven actions to achieve this objective supported by a myriad of women’s organizations, social justice organizations and noted feminists, singularly focused on addressing the inequity of past acceptance and practices. They are as follows:
Action I: Put in place national care policies and campaigns that recognize, reduce and redistribute care work equally between men and women.
Action II: Provide equal, job-protected, fully paid parental leave for all parents as a national policy.
Action III: Design and expand social protection programs to redistribute care equally between women and men, while keeping a focus on the needs and rights of women and girls.
Action IV: Transform health sector institutions to promote fathers’ involvement from the prenatal period through birth and childhood and men’s involvement as caregivers.
Action V: Promote an ethic of male care in school's media and other key institutions in which social norms are created and reinforced.
Action VI: Change workplace conditions, culture and policies to support workers caregiving-and mandate those changes in national legislation.
Action VII: Hold male political leaders accountable for their support of care policies, while advocating for women’s equality in political leadership.
These fundamental actions will support the furtherance of equitable caregiving from both genders, and thereby enrich the parenting experience for the caregivers and most importantly the children.
Fatherhood…Deeds not Words!